Do Calvinists believe anyone has free will?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Robert Snow, Mar 7, 2011.

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  1. Robert Snow

    Robert Snow
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    From my understanding, Calvinists believe that man has no choice in whether or not he is saved. He is either elected by God or he isn't.

    Does this apply to a person who has been saved (elected)? After a person becomes a Christian does he have any freewill? That is, if a Christian sins, did he have any choice in the matter or was he destined to do so by God.
     
  2. Cypress

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    Robert,
    The Cal position usually involves a compatibalist variety of free will, not libertarian free will. In other words, we are free to do what we most desire.......but no men will desire God without being elect. This is the most succinct way I can describe my understanding of their position. I am sure they can and will correct me if I mis-characterize it.
     
  3. jbh28

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    I would change one word...though technically what you said is correct.

    we are free to do what we most desire.......but no men will desire God without being regenerated

    in other words, we as humans have a will. We are free to choose anything we want. But naturally, we never want to come to God.
     
  4. Osage Bluestem

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    Man is free to choose according to his nature.

    The natural nature since the fall has been one of depravity and enmity with God.

    The regenerate nature naturally loves God and hates sin.

    So only the regenerate will have faith and choose to repent and follow Christ.
     
  5. annsni

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    A lion has the free will to be able to choose to become a vegetarian for the rest of his life - but he has no desire to do so. He'd need to become a different creature in order to do that.
     
  6. Jerome

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  7. Iconoclast

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    Christians are free to serve God.Christians are not "free" to sin.They are still able or capable to sin being in a body that still has the impulse and ability to to sin. The bondage and power sin had over us has been broken,yet we are told that it is our duty to......mortify sin romans 6:16-21, romans 8 col3
    In heaven we will not sin. The will is always subject to your nature...it is never "free" by itself.
     
  8. webdog

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    The lion can do no such thing. His body is programmed to only eat meat.
     
  9. webdog

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    "free to choose according to his nature" is contrary to the very definiton of "choose".
     
  10. Robert Snow

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    This really isn't what I'm talking about. What I am curious about is the elected, according to Calvinist doctrine, when they sin. This is obviously not in accordance with their new nature. Was this sin something God ordained, or did the Christian have free will enough to choose to sin, even though they have a new nature?
     
  11. annsni

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    Man has free will to sin because, while we are new creations, we still are in this body of flesh and fight it daily.
     
  12. Tom Butler

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    This is an area where I'd like to hear more discussion.

    When we are given new nature at regeneration, we don't lose our old sinful nature. I think that's why Paul complained in Romans about the "war" within him. He moaned that the things he wanted to do, he didn't, and the things he didn't want to do, he did.

    This explains why believers don't stop sinning.
     
  13. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Yes we still do sin ..... But why should we tell Non-Calvinists that? LOL

    Heck let them think we have achieved nirvana, sit around all day & contemplate our navels.Ommmmmm.:smilewinkgrin::thumbs:
     
  14. jbh28

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    That's exactly what he was saying. A lion will never want to eat anything other than meat.

    So you choose contrary to your nature? That doesn't even make sense. As far as the definition of "choose" it fits very nicely in. The word choose means that there are options and you "choose" one of them. A lion has options. He can eat meat, or can eat the apple that is on the ground.j Which one will he choose? The meat of course. Not having any desire for something doesn't make it not a available choice.


    The same things goes for people. We are able to make choices. We make choices every day. Our choices are within our nature. God's choices are within his nature. God is holy. He cannot act unholy. It would be against his nature. He cannot lie. Lying would be against his nature.
     
  15. Tom Butler

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    I'm afraid not telling won't quite get it.

    Spend some time with me and they'll figure it out on their own.

    Or they can just ask my wife.
     
  16. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Like they didnt know already...:mad:
     
  17. Amy.G

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    It is against my nature to clean up other people's bodily fluids but I have done it many times because I take care of my disabled mother. I don't have to. I could refuse to take care of her and put her in a nursing home, but I choose to care for her. It's not fun and many days I want to scream because she is very critical of me, but I keep on keeping on by choice. It is my nature to please myself and go shopping all day and have lots of fun, but I choose to do otherwise.
     
  18. jbh28

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    Then it isn't against your nature. "against your nature" doesn't mean just something you really don't like doing.

    Of course...that's called choosing.
    Yes, but you are not choosing against your nature. Your nature also has you doing otherwise. Do you understand what the word "nature" means? It isn't just things you prefer. Pleasing others is something you like doing. That's why you made the choice. In your example, you had the choice of pleasing your self(shopping) or pleasing someone else(helping nursing home). You chose nursing home because you wanted to pleas someone else over pleasing yourself. You always choose what you want the most in any given situation.


    Another example.

    I love chocolate cake. Why don't I eat chocolate cake all the time? Because I would gain a lot of weight. So, while I desire chocolate cake over another snack, I choose the other snack many times because it isn't as bad for me.

    1. you always choose within your nature
    2. you always choose what you want most in any given situation with the options available to you
    3. you always have a reason for your choice.
    4, oh, and you make choices...:)
     
  19. quantumfaith

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    Annsni

    "instinctual drives" are of an obviously "different order" than moral decisions and choices. Animals have the "nashama", while humans have the "neshama", (perhaps I have those two mixed up).
     
  20. quantumfaith

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